Not Of This World

“When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with confusion, and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions.” (Acts 19:28-29, HCSB)

                This episode from Acts 19 gives an account of what happens when people’s idols are threatened. Not much has changed in the last 2,000 years. Yesterday we watched on TV as the United States Capitol was breached by a mob. We might not have been surprised if we had seen this happening in a third-world country, but this was the United States. This has led to the start of many discussions, some of which need to be had, such as, “Would the response have been different for a black crowd?”  Certainly, questions need answered about the Capitol Police response.  I’m not here to attempt to do that.

                The most disturbing thing that I saw was a large “Jesus” flag.  It breaks my heart that someone thinks that the best thing that they can do for their Lord is to try to overthrow the government of the United States and disrupt its processes. Romans 13:1-2 clearly commands, “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.” Simply stated, acts of sedition are inappropriate for those who bear the name of Christ.

                I place a lot of blame for these events on high-visibility Christian leaders who crawled into bed with President Trump because he was on “our side.”  These leaders taught their flocks that Jesus was not enough; that we must rely on political power as well.  God will hold them accountable for this.  In John 18:36, we read, “’My kingdom is not of this world,’ said Jesus. ‘If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I would be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.” This answer to Pontius Pilate during His trial is shocking but is still true today. Jesus could have called on angels to remove Him from the situation. Instead, He continued to the cross.

                If you have read Acts 19, you know that Paul, with his traveling companions, were captured because they were converting people to Christ. These conversions were negatively affecting the livelihoods of those who made the statues of the goddess Artemis, or Diana. They were angry. Their idol was threatened by this Christ that Paul and his companions were preaching. Their whole world was being shaken. Our idols are also threatened by Christ. Some have made an idol out of President Trump. Some have made an idol out of America. Some have made an idol of a political party. In the end, Christ defeats all these idols as well.

                Christian, if you are really determined to make America great, first, “Be holy for He is holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Then, go into all the world, making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them what He has commanded (Matt 28:19-20). Don’t be tempted by political gains or alliances. Serve the King whose kingdom is not of this world. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” (Helen Lemmel)


One Response to “Not Of This World”

  1. Robert Ashworth says:

    Sadly this is missing so much. I agree that I am not sure that a Jesus flag belonged in this. However, too many people are using Trump supporters when there is evidence that anarchist groups were mixed in. The Trump supporters here and in the past never idolized him. Evidence tends to be that liberals treat government as a demi-god that they turn to instead of God. It was the Democratic party that booed God and remove Him from everything. I also note that Trump is pro life while Biden/Harris support murdering children even after they are born.

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